So, yeah, we moved to the Netherlands. And 10 weeks in I can honestly say the idea of ever returning to Canada seems like an odd and unpleasant idea. This place wraps around me like a comforting blanket and I feel at home.
Granted it’s all “new-ish”. I did spend 3 months here in 2011 and leaving was hard then too. The familiarity will settle in but in terms of a social life and some new leads and life into my work I could hardly have asked for more.
We live on the third floor of a fairly spacious canal house in the centre of haarlem and some mornings the walk to the train station is ludicrously pretty and I have to mutter “stop that. You’re showing off.” Clouds that look like the dutch masters applied their brushes. I mean, ridiculous.
We’ve done a considerable amount of venturing beyond our Haarlem and Amsterdam home, to Zaandfort beach and devouring “kibbling”, a roast fish nugget dish, and frites oorlog ( war fries, with sate and mayo,basically) and stamppot ( mashed potato with, veggies and sausage in a mash), and bitterballen and kroket and drop. ( meatballs of a gravy like texture and crispy exterior, kroket, (longer versions)and black liquorice.
The language? We’re getting there. I learn more each day and I can move around the country with little issue and little “ugh english expat” looks.
Sold a short story with KC Ezell this summer and signed that contract off on halloween, no less.
Not sure what cons I’ll do stateside. Busy just trying to finish work, and have comfortably ensconced myself into the Amsterdam writers group that I greatly look forward to and have made friends. Kiddo is settling into school and making friends, so is my partner. Its good.
And the 9pm bells ring. ( they have done so since 1200AD? To summon the citizens inside the gates of the city. Only one gate remains, and I guess no one bothered to stop ringing the bells.)